A UTV went through the ice on the Chippewa River in the town of Lake Holcombe, Sunday, killing a 74-year-old man and his 39-year-old daughter from rural Holcombe.

The drowning occurred at about 4:50 p.m., March 15. The victims were identified as John D. Custer, of rural Holcombe, and Jennifer M. Custer, also of Holcombe.

The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call of an occupied UTV that was witnessed going through the ice west of 270th Avenue. 

Upon arrival it was noticed that around 40 feet from the shore line was an opening where the UTV fell through the ice, according to Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk.

Emergency personnel with the aid of divers removed the victims from the UTV in about 20 feet of water.

Both were transported to an Eau Claire Hospital and pronounced shortly thereafter.

“The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone to be extremely cautious on the ice as the weather continues to warm up,” Kowalczyk said.

The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office, Cornell Fire and EMS, Chippewa Falls EMS and Dive Team, DNR Wardens, Mayo & Life Link helicopters responded.

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